Thursday, September 3, 2015

Rookie Blue: Season Five - Volume One DVD Review

Reviewed by Allie Schembra
Five years ago, a group of green rookies fresh out of the Academy started their careers with 15 Division -- one of the most elite units in the city. Now, as Andy McNally (Missy Peregrym) and her fellow officers enter their next year as seasoned pros, more resilient than ever, each day still continues to bring new surprises and revelations. Rookie Blue: Season Five - Volume One, available exclusively on DVD from Entertainment One directly following ABC-TV's summer premieres, begins with two lives hanging in the balance: officers Sam Swarek (Ben Bass) and Chloe Price(Priscilla Faia), who've been shot in the line of duty. But life at 15 Division must go on, as the officers have sworn an oath to serve and protect, no matter the consequences. But as the shell-shocked men and women in blue struggle to pull the pieces of their lives back together, they can't help but wonder: will things ever work out the way they're supposed to?
Show (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
I have been a fan of “Rookie Blue” since season one. I was immediately hooked and can’t wait for each summer to start so that I can watch the new season of the show. It’s also what I hate about it. Being a summer only show, I have to wait almost a year before watching new episodes. Who do they think they are? HBO? Only HBO can make me wait almost a year for a show! 

Season five begins immediately following the events of season four’s finale – Sam Swarek is in surgery after being shot, Chloe is also in surgery and recovering from her gunshot wound, Andy is trying to explain to Collins her feelings for Swarek and Dov is trying to get information on Chloe. As the cops from 15 Division pick up the pieces, changes are made and the team has to figure out their new roles.

Andy takes on a rookie and becomes his training officer, Traci has to deal with being a mom and defending her job to her ex who wants to take her son away, Diaz is hiding a secret that Dov has to share with him and Gail makes some major life changes. All these things bring the former rookies of 15 Division closer together as their lives become chaotic and are turn upside down.

As Andy trains Duncan, her rookie, who is also the Commissioner’s step son, she begins second guessing herself and her ability to train another officer, but she’s too nice to put a black mark on his permanent record, so she fudges the files. When Duncan freezes and leaves Andy alone in a dangerous situation, she realizes that Duncan is not cut out to be a cop and reports him. Duncan retaliates and lodges a complaint against her. Andy’s job is on the line and she admits to Oliver that she fudged the reports. To save her job, Oliver makes a deal with his superiors to remain as Staff Sergeant of 15 Division.

Dov is trying to work through the bombshell that Chloe is married, but as he and Chloe try to work it out, Chloe is finalizing the divorce. When she forgets to turn off her body cam, she panics and deletes some of the information. This causes a problem when in the course of an investigation into a bombing, the team needs the footage from her cam. Dov recovers it and before he can see what’s on it, Chloe confesses that she and her ex kissed. 

In the course of the investigation into the bombing, the officers find a connection between a bombing four years before and one of the victims. As Swarek tries to figure it out, his ex, Marlo, returns as an intelligence officer and is assigned to help. Turns out, Marlo has a secret of her own, but before she can tell Swarek, an explosion rocks Division 15 and changes everything.

There was so much that went on in season five, it made it difficult to choose what to recap and what not to. Some of the storylines, while not minor, were more in the background. Over the last five seasons, I’ve grown to like these characters, even the ones I didn’t like when the show started. That said, the introduction of Duncan Moore made me want to throw things at the screen. I absolutely HATE this character. He’s annoying, stupid and a total idiot. I don’t think he brought anything to the series and should have flunked out and disappeared from the show. 

I enjoy watching “Rookie Blue.” While it is your typical cop show, there’s something about it that draws me in. I don’t know if it’s the characters, the actors, the stories, or all three, but I look forward to summer and the show’s premiere. “Rookie Blue” is the complete picture – stories, acting and direction – are all very good and each actor seems very natural in his or her role. 
Video (3 out of 5 stars)
The widescreen presentation of “Rookie Blue” is good. I didn’t notice too much improvement from television to DVD, but the picture was good and there were no visible issues. Transitions from scene to scene were good and the colors were accurate.
Audio (3 out of 5 stars)
“Rookie Blue” is presented in English 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Dolby Digital with subtitles in English SDH for the deaf and hard of hearing. The sound is clear with volume levels even. Gunshots, explosions and other normally loud sounds were appropriate and the background songs were not overwhelming. The soundtrack in general was pretty good and not distracting.
Extras (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The special features were sparse, but interesting. I wish there had been more features, maybe some bloopers or deleted scenes, but what was included was interesting. I just find it difficult to score features high where there are only two. Neither of which blew me away, but I still enjoyed.
  • Life is not a Fairy Tale Featurette – Behind the scenes of season five. The cast and crew talk about the characters, the story and how their characters ultimately went from rookie cops to cops starting to train new rookies. I actually enjoyed watching this. This was a good reminder of the season and of each character’s history. With a runtime of just over six minutes, this feature was just long enough and dint get boring.
  • Webisodes – Nine webisodes equaling 30 minutes starring the various characters, each on stakeouts with another. This seemed like extended or deleted scenes where the viewer saw more of the characters’ lives, jobs and interactions with each other. These partnered characters that might not regularly be partners together in a normal episode and were kind of entertaining.
Summary (3 out of 5 stars)
“Rookie Blue” is a fun show. Season five has a lot of action, and the cases are all interesting. Seeing how each character has grown since the beginning makes the show better. I wouldn’t call it a guilty pleasure show, but it is definitely one of those shows I never miss when it’s on. The only drawback is that it’s a summer only show, which means it’s a limited season and only starts each June or July. Luckily, it’s available online so I can watch it anytime. Season five is my favorite season, in spite of the introduction on Duncan Moore, the most annoying character ever. If you’re looking for a show to watch, I definitely recommend “Rookie Blue.”

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